It’s no surprise to craft beer lovers that the pricey limited edition beers are getting even more expensive…
High demand small batch exotics can easily command $40 to $50 a bottle at retail. And we’re still feeling the reverberations from this year’s Samuel Adams Utopias which went for $199 this year. And like tickets to sold-out concerts, the price of those already expensive releases can soar to new heights once they hit the online black-market.
Which brings us to a New Belgium, a brewery not normally associated with upper tier beer pricing, who’ve just released the most expensive beer they’ve ever crafted.
New Belgium La Folie Grand Reserve: Geisha is that special release and it takes their award-winning La Folie to new and eye-opening levels including its pricing.
And again, at $48 a bottle New Belgium’s Geisha certainly doesn’t scream that it’s exorbitantly priced…And as we learned its cost specifically relates to the exotic coffee used to temper this nuanced sour blend, the prized and expensive Geisha coffee bean developed by Hacienda la Esmeralda, a Panamanian coffee farm that’s recognized as one of the world’s best growers.
So a rare limited release, brewed using what New Belgium specialty-brand manager Andrew Emerton calls “literally the best coffee bean in the world,” is beginning to sound a little more reasonable…or no?
“We thought it would be super cool to use our vendor connection and resources to bring you a beer featuring an ingredient you’ll likely never get to try again in your life. In order to do that, we took some massive risks and massive precautions to bottle, what I’d say, is our most impressive sour we’ve ever released. I assure you, we’re not making much money on this.
And given craft beer’s inherently small profit margins to begin with…we find Emerton’s argument for this exotic blends value persuasive…just sayin.’
New Belgium knows it audience better than many craft breweries, and we’ve gotta think that if they could have delivered this kind of product for a lesser price, they would have.
And again we’re not talking about something like BrewDog’s End of History beer which sold for $765 a bottle at some retailers when it hit the states back in 2010.
What’s been described by the brewery as a marriage of New Belgium’s award-winning sour beer program with the world’s most exclusive coffee bean wasn’t ever going be cheap…What they were going for was to craft something special…
In the end New Belgium’s La Folie Grand Reserve: Geisha (or any worthy drinking experience) should be less about what it cost you…and more about where it takes you…right?
And at $48 for a 750 mL bottle, New Belgium’s Geisha might possibly be the world’s most excellent cheap date.